School shootings are becoming all too common in this country. And no matter how many occur, or how many people die, we get nowhere on solutions because gun fanatics refuse to believe that guns have anything to do with gun violence. They claim it’s all mental health. Now, they’re partially correct; it’s clear that someone who’s mentally sound doesn’t use a gun to intentionally shoot or kill someone. Especially someone who plans a mass shooting at a school.
That being said, easy access to guns, the way we promote guns in our country and a combination of mental illness have proven to be a deadly mixture when it comes to gun violence in this country. That’s where the fallacy lies with these fools who simplify guns down to nothing more than “a tool no more deadly than a spoon.” They don’t understand that it’s not just about the guns themselves, but the culture they create. When we downplay how deadly and dangerous guns can be, we set up a society where millions of Americans are desensitized to the lethality of these weapons.
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard someone say, “Someone comes on my land, I’ll shoot the son of a b*tch.” As if trespassing should warrant the death penalty.
So it doesn’t come as any surprise to read about a high school student in Waxahachie, Texas (just a few miles from where I live) who was detained by police and charged with making a terroristic threat when it was discovered that he had created a “hit list” during class, which included 18 people he apparently had planned to kill. Not only that, but he had dates that went along with these names who were all students. Apparently these killings were set to begin in 2017 and stretch through 2026. Police say there’s no evidence of any further planning, but it’s clear this student (whose name was not released because they’re a minor) had to have been thinking about this prior to making this list.
And I can’t help but notice how close this incident is to the tragic shooting in Washington. It’s part of the reason why I almost wish we didn’t nationally report on these shootings. I think at times the coverage inspires those who might try to “copycat” these mass shootings.
Now it’s clear this student is most likely suffering from some kind of mental illness to even contemplate such a plan, even if it was unlikely that he would have ever carried out these killings. But I just can’t help but think to myself that if we didn’t glamorize the gun culture in this country, and downplay the extreme lethality of guns, we wouldn’t see people even contemplate committing such heinous crimes.
You can’t convince me that without guns, the people committing these monstrous school shootings would have still planned to kill people. There’s a reason why you never read headlines that say “20 people killed by a mass stabbing at local school.” Guns often empower people who are mentally ill to carry out horrific acts of violence that they otherwise might not consider doing. It’s much easier to take a life when all you have to do is pull a trigger versus using some kind of sharp object to brutally stab someone to death.
My real wish is that we could have a logical discussion about violence, especially gun violence in this country. But we obviously can’t, and sadly probably never will. There are people in this country who literally think guns have absolutely nothing to do with gun violence, and as long as those people think that, we’ll never be able to rationally address this issue.